Twelfth Night

Michael Llewellyn, Author, Michael Llwellyn, Author, Michael Llewellyn, Afterword by Kensington Publishing Corporation $21.95 (372p) ISBN 978-1-57566-082-0
The setting of this debut novel is the complex, insular social world of 19th-century New Orleans, where French culture and new American money mingle exotically in heady celebrations like Twelfth Night. In the midst of this glamorous world, Justice Blancard, a high-born Creole, is imprisoned in a loveless marriage. While her sadistic husband, Hilaire, is busy with his octoroon mistress, Justine finds true love with Duncan Saunders, a visiting American, but agonizes over how she can avoid the censure of the city's oppressive and patriarchal society. Llewellyn, a New Orleans native, introduces a host of engaging characters, from high-class Creoles to slaves and mixed-blood courtesans, and probes the class, race and gender issues of the time thoroughly and sympathetically. The historical background is entertaining, informative and well integrated with the text providing a solid sense of life in antebellum New Orleans and a sure understanding of characters' motives. Unfortunately, Llewellyn's bombastic prose lends a bodice-ripping air, replete with Homeric epithets, melodramatic love scenes and damsel-in-distress histrionics. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/02/1997
Release date: 02/01/1997
Mass Market Paperbound - 460 pages - 978-1-57566-253-4
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